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Medicine United States Science

Sperm Counts Among Western Men Have Halved In Last 40 Years, Says Study (theguardian.com) 427

New submitter flote shares a report from The Guardian: Sperm counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, research suggests, although the drivers behind the decline remain unclear. The latest findings reveal that between 1973 and 2011, the concentration of sperm in the ejaculate of men in western countries has fallen by an average of 1.4% a year, leading to an overall drop of just over 52%. The study, published in the journal Human Reproduction Update by an international team of researchers, drew on 185 studies conducted between 1973 and 2011, involving almost 43,000 men. The team split the data based on whether the men were from western countries -- including Australia and New Zealand as well as countries in North America and Europe -- or from elsewhere. After accounting for factors including age and how long men had gone without ejaculation, the team found that sperm concentration fell from 99 million per ml in 1973 to 47.1 million per ml in 2011 -- a decline of 52.4% -- among western men unaware of their fertility. For the same group, total sperm count -- the number of sperm in a semen sample -- fell by just under 60%.
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Sperm Counts Among Western Men Have Halved In Last 40 Years, Says Study

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  • Wild guess (Score:4, Interesting)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @07:24PM (#54878211) Homepage Journal

    Obesisty?

    • Re:Wild guess (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @07:43PM (#54878337)

      No...Blame the food. Whenever I go to those so called 3rd world countries, their fruits taste better, have an aroma and someone can tell that a neighbor is preparing beef or poultry from the perceived smell.

      When one visits the fruit section of some of these so called healthy food stores, not an iota of smell/scent of fruit is perceived! Something is surely wrong here.

      • by hord ( 5016115 )

        This was my thought. Our food supply is becoming more plastic all the time and I don't meant he packaging.

        • Re:Wild guess (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @11:41PM (#54879661)

          It is likely the packaging too, look at plastics that leech BPA, which mimics estrogen.

          • I was thinking along the lines of BPA, triclosan, and other chemicals that are common in food/drug related products that mimic estrogen.
            I think the FDA recently banned triclosan from consumer products, but that might be too recent to have an impact on long-term studies yet.

            As far as smells in the grocery store, typically things aren't cooked in the store throughout the day, and when they are it's in a separate room with probably separate ventilation. "Rooms" and "ventilation" are things that don't exist
      • by geek ( 5680 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @09:55PM (#54879181)

        I blame skinny jeans. I've been in boxers and loose pants for decades and have no issues. I see these young beta males running around in skin tight jeans and I just figure they never want kids or something.

      • by jblues ( 1703158 )

        The increase in processed starchy foods and I would theorize perhaps too much reduction in saturated fats - which support male sex hormone production. In fact, while processed foods were eaten less, in favor of whole foods, including fattier meats, they were prepared with lard and tallow in place of hydrogenated vegetable oils. That fat is gone either way.

        Ancel Keys [wikipedia.org] showed that saturated fat wasn't good for heart health, but we may have gone overboard and/or replaced it favor of crappy overly-processed sta

      • Re:Wild guess (Score:5, Interesting)

        by LeftCoastThinker ( 4697521 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @01:07AM (#54879917)

        Not sure if that is the cause, but the issue you describe is related to the fact that most fruits and vegetables these days are grown far away, and to save money on refrigeration, the fruit is picked green and allowed to ripen in transit. The downside is that the chemical processes are not the same as ripening on the tree/vine/etc. and you wind up with highly acidic produce lacking in some nutrients.

      • No...Blame the food. Whenever I go to those so called 3rd world countries, their fruits taste better, have an aroma and someone can tell that a neighbor is preparing beef or poultry from the perceived smell.

        When one visits the fruit section of some of these so called healthy food stores, not an iota of smell/scent of fruit is perceived! Something is surely wrong here.

        So do we blame Monsanto for the GMFruit? In my youth, a Tomato was bright red, and juicy. Now the ones we buy (packaged on the vine), are pink, dry and bland.
        Pretty soon there will be seedless tomatoes. I want seeds that I can put into my own backyard and grow the old juicy red tomatoes of yesteryear.

      • Re:Wild guess (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ath1901 ( 1570281 ) on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @05:37PM (#54886609)

        Citation needed! I can't believe this got +5 Insightful.

        Where is the evidence supporting your claim? Has the nutritional value of fruits decreased since the 70s? You could blame anything that has changed since 1973. Why not the lack of lead in gasoline or Internet porn?

        Before anyone blames it on any hormone like chemical found in plastics/fertilizers/pesticides/whatever, please show that our exposure has at least increased! For many nasty chemicals our exposure peaked in the 70-80s which increased awareness and regulations during later generations. Our exposure has decreased for many nasties, not increased. Lead being the obvious example but probably many other nasties like plastic softeners etc.

    • hm. Watch films from the seventies. Notice how skinny everyone is.

    • Partially, PlayBoy and Internet continue to drain the resources?

    • It is not just Obesity.

      Smoking is a culprit as well. Smoking affects both the color and taste of semen. Uh, so I am told. So it might affect sperm count and motility as well.
  • Count THIS! (Score:5, Funny)

    by mnemotronic ( 586021 ) <mnemotronic AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @07:27PM (#54878235) Homepage Journal
    Ha! {wipes off mouse}
  • by Sqreater ( 895148 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @07:36PM (#54878289)
    Have they done a study to determine if there has been a balancing increase in sperm production by western women?
  • by Rollgunner ( 630808 ) on Tuesday July 25, 2017 @08:18PM (#54878561)
    The communist plot to dilute our precious bodily fluids has succeeded !
  • by Anonymous Coward

    That is the only logical explanation for this. Women are fucking impossible to deal with anymore. They cannot be satisfied no matter how much money you make, how much you work out, how much stuff you have, or how popular you are. You're never good enough.

    It gets to the point that you don't even want to reproduce with them anymore, and so your body's like "whatever, Ima shut down this sperm factory down here and use my energy to get better at minecraft instead."

    Not long ago a friend of mine and I were having

    • by Evtim ( 1022085 )

      Don't fret! The women asking the impossible is the very thing that drives the sexual selection. If they don't whip us all the time men will stagnate......as a man I don't like it but there it is....it's a feature, but indeed it can be a bug as well if taken to extremes.

      Few years ago there was this fantastic documentary on the BBC about a guy with small dick. At a certain moment he invited 3 ladies to the studio. At first the ladies were sooooo dismissive and derisive about "dick fear" and were like "no size

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Few years ago there was this fantastic documentary on the BBC about a guy with small dick. At a certain moment he invited 3 ladies to the studio. At first the ladies were sooooo dismissive and derisive about "dick fear" and were like "no size is not that important; it is other men that made you fell inadequate because men make porn and porn is unrealistic". So he asked them to model from clay the perfect dick for them. Guess what - all 3 models were significantly above average both in length and girt. Talking about who instills inferiority complexes in men , eh :)

        Those ladies probably don't care about size, at least consciously. The problem is that most people don't see a lot of genitals in real life, the majority are in porn. And they don't hire porn stars for their acting skills, and of course shaving pubic hair makes it look bigger too. So subconsciously they have an unrealistic image of what a normal size penis is like, and are influenced by what porn portrays as "ideal". They probably have similar ideas about the shape of the female body, due to airbrushed maga

  • Estrogen mimic plasticizers are all over the environment. They're in your clothes, your bottled water, your food, the chairs you sit in, ETC.

    They would be my first guess as to the reason for many abnormalities, and certainly for something involving sperm counts.

  • underwear!

  • If you want to be a dad, better wrap your balls in lead.

  • We do less male stuff, plain and simple. Testosterone is down from sitting on the couch, getting fat, drinking to much beer, stimulating with videogames rather than real stuggles and not work harder physical labour as we used to. Porn feeds an epidemic of erectile dysfunction that has to play out into sperm quality and count at some point. And on top of that the guilt-show western males have to go through hamper true male heterosexuality - a very important aspect consistently left out of this shitty ongoing

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Wednesday July 26, 2017 @07:59AM (#54880891)

    If the trend continues, there will be a day when Western Man is no longer able to produce sperm at all.

    But fear not, humanity! Thanks to frozen sperm, bulls that died years ago are still fathering calves. With my high IQ and 6' 2" manly-man size, I am willing to contribute now to save First World Man from extinction.

    Charlize Theron...honey...I'm afraid you'll just have to lean into the strike zone take one for the team. The future of the world will be in your hands. Literally.

    Inbox me, honey. Let's get this done!

  • I thought it said "spam" counts.

All science is either physics or stamp collecting. -- Ernest Rutherford

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